Sunday, February 9, 2014

MWR Rule Amendment

Please choose one of the following options for The Bigs minimum win rule:

Option A: Each GM must win at least 50 games at the major league level per season or they will be expelled from the world and will not be allowed back into The Bigs at any point.

Option B: Each GM must win at least 50 games at the major league level per season or they will be removed from the world and will be allowed back after sitting out one full season.

Option C: Each GM must win at least 50 games at the major league level per season or they will be removed from the world. If the owner fails to meet the MWR and wishes to remain in the world the following season, he/she may do so by selecting a different franchise.

Option D: Each GM must win at least 50 games at the major league level per season or they will be removed from the world. If the owner fails to meet the MWR and wishes to remain in the world the following season, the owners will vote on whether or not he/she will be allowed to return the following season. If it is decided that the owner may return, he/she must select a different franchise.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's time for Dixon and Stieb to get the call

Our Hall of Fame doesn't have a lot of diversity at the moment. It's true that the first thing everybody looks at for a position player is their raw statistical numbers. Batting average, home runs, runs batted in, etc. are the main determining factors for many Hall of Fame voters. However, if we don't start digging deeper into these player's careers, we're going to end up with a Hall full of left fielders and without any shortstops.

Right now, our Hall of Fame consists of three first baseman, three left fielders, two second baseman and one right fielder (we'll leave pitchers out of this for now). Not a lot of variety there, granted the Hall is still in its infancy. And all were certainly deserving of being voted in. But there are several players on the ballot this year who have been ignored for several seasons that deserve some serious Hall of Fame consideration.

James Dixon and Denny Moss were the two best third baseman this world has ever seen. While Moss seems to have considerable backing this season, Dixon is hardly being mentioned at all.

The two players had very similar careers and an argument could be made that Dixon was actually better than Moss because of his elite defense. In 1514 games played at third base, Dixon made 114 + plays and only 5 - plays. Moss, in 944 games at the hot corner, made 41 + plays and 4 - plays. In over 13,000 innings, Dixon made just 117 errors while Moss nearly equaled that with 101 errors in less than 8,000 innings. Dixon's career range factor was also much higher than Moss's (0.29 higher to be exact).

The offensive numbers between the two are similar but only one of these third baseman is a member of the 400/400 club. In fact, not only is Dixon a member of the 400/400 club, he is a five-time member of the 30/30 club. Moss achieved 30/30 membership four times in his career.

Dixon has more career hits, runs scored, doubles, RBI, walks and steals than Moss, and yet almost no one is mentioning his name as a Hall of Famer. Instead, much love is being given to (surprise!) another left fielder, Jacque Puffer, which is fine because Puffer is also a 400/400 guy and deserving in his own right. At some point, though, we need to start taking defense and what position a guy plays into account when considering their Hall candidacy.

Which brings me to Tony Stieb. How he hasn't been voted in yet, I have no idea. If you're waiting to vote for a Hall of Fame catcher who puts up Sean Simpson type numbers, you're going to be waiting for a while. Stieb was hands-down the best catcher of his era. All-Star appearances can be overrated in this game for sure but, when you get elected to nine All-Star games, that's not an accident. One or two could be flukey but not nine.

Go look up Major League Baseball Hall of Fame catchers and read their career offensive numbers. Stieb's compare with any one of them and are, in fact, better than most of them in terms of OPS.

If I remember correctly, when we had a brief debate about Stieb in the world chat last season, one or two people mentioned that he wasn't very good defensively. Really? If that's true, then how is Stieb second all-time in runners caught stealing? If your argument against that number is that Stieb has more stolen base attempts against him than any other catcher in history, you'd be correct. But, then I would point out his insane durability for an elite catcher and the fact that he once caught 161 games in a season. His incredible durability is part of what made him so valuable. Look at the backup catchers on your rosters and tell me you wouldn't love to never have to use them. Of course Stieb will have more runners trying to steal on him when he's catching more games than anyone else. 

Finally, I know some people also pointed out the pitcher's ERA while Stieb was behind the plate as a reason to not vote for him. By HBD standards, Stieb's 59 rated PC (at its peak) was well above average. So let's dig a little deeper here and take a look at his "worst" season in that department, season 8 with Charlotte.

The fact that Charlotte won just 56 games that season should tip you off that something wasn't right. Take a look at that season's team and you'll find that Felix Comer was by far their best starter. Comer won 10 games and had a 3.83 ERA. In fact, while he had a lower ERA in one other season, you could argue that season 8, with Stieb, was the best season of Comer's career. But the Charlotte pitching staff gets pretty ugly from there. Lawrence Carver, Alfredo Veras, Josh Gant, Heath Duffy, Kenneth Stafford and Bret Black all started at least 11 games each for Charlotte that season. Bret fucking Black started 11 games for that team!!! You cannot put that bad ERA on Stieb, sorry. If you dig deeper throughout his career, Stieb played for some truly bad teams and in no way should that be held against him.

If I haven't convinced you that Dixon and Stieb are Hall of Famers, then I don't know what else to tell you. Just keep voting for those first baseman and left fielders with the pretty home run and RBI totals.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The case for Siddall in the Hall

A close look at the most dominant reliever of his time

There's been a lot of speculation on whether or not Christoper Siddall will get enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame this season. And I'll admit, I'm probably a bit biased because Siddall was a Dirtbag for the first seven seasons of this world's existence. But his numbers simply cannot be denied -- he was the most dominant reliever of his era, hands down. It's really not even close.

The biggest knock on Siddall is probably that he doesn't have enough saves to get in. And if you're a reliever without any saves, you don't have much of a chance to get in the Hall of Fame. Generally, I would agree with that stance. A reliever would really have to have been dominant -- historically dominant -- to get consideration without any saves.

Well, Siddall was historically dominant. For a reliever or a starter, Siddall owns The Bigs' pitching record books. He is The Bigs all-time career leader in strikeout/walk ratio (a ridiculous 3.84), WHIP (1.03) and on base percentage allowed (.266). He is number two all-time in ERA (2.61) and slugging percentage allowed (.311) and third all-time in batting average allowed (.212).

So he doesn't have 300 saves. Big deal. He threw almost 1200 innings, which is more than borderline Hall of Fame starting pitchers like Vin Solano, and threw over 100 innings in each of his first nine seasons in The Bigs. So it's not like he didn't play long enough.

People can get caught up in the saves category but it's really a lot like the RBI stat -- based largely on outside factors. Siddall couldn't control how many saves he got much like hitters can't control whether or not there are runners on base when they come to bat. I chose to use Siddall as a setup A so that I could get the most innings pitched out of him. All he could control was how well he pitched when he was in the game and he ended up being better than any pitcher, starter or reliever, EVER. The only pitcher who could even be considered better than him is his ex-teammate Javier Henriquez.

Still think he's not Hall of Fame worthy?

Season 17 arms race recap

Contenders spend big on pitching to push them over the top

The season 17 off season provided a flurry of pitchers finding new homes in The Bigs. Here's a quick recap of which big names went where and for how much:

Roy Walker -- signed 5-year, $95 million deal with Fargo: The largest and most eye-popping of the pitching contracts given out this season, Roy Walker cashed in big time to give the Dirtbags the rotation depth they lacked last season. The deal is surprising considering Walker posted a career-worst 4.74 ERA last season, his only year with Boston. Fargo hopes that Walker's return to the National League will get him back on track and that he will regain the form he showed in his days with Atlanta. The deal includes a mutual option for the final season and a no-trade clause.

Barry Rader -- signed 5-year, $53.4 million deal with New Orleans: The Voodoo bolstered their rotation by signing former All-Star Rader to a five-year deal. Rader has spent his entire major league career in the American League with Milwaukee where he has been mostly successful, but struggled last season going just 9-15 with a 5.27 ERA.The deal includes a no-trade clause.

D'Angelo Martin -- signed 5-year, $46 million deal with Minnesota: A former Cy Young winner, Martin leaves Buffalo, the only place he's ever called home, for division rival Minnesota and a big pay day. Owning a reputation as an inning-eating workhorse, Martin went 17-9 last season while posting a 3.64 ERA in 34 starts.

Pedro Limon -- signed 4-year, $37.7 million deal with New Orleans: New Orleans added to their rotation and their signing of Rader by reaching an agreement with Limon on a four-year deal. Limon went 11-9 with a 4.10 ERA in 33 starts with the Scranton Janitors last season and the Voodoo hope to get the same, if not, a better performance from Limon as they look to make a run deep into the NL playoffs. Limon's deal includes a no-trade clause and a player option for the final season.

Paul Schwartz -- signed 3-year, $15.7 million deal with Scranton: Arguably the most desirable reliever available this off season, Schwartz leaves the cozy pitcher's park in Seattle for a more neutral stadium in Scranton. The 35-year-old three-time All-Star posted a 3.25 ERA and 19 saves in a career-high 144 innings pitched over 74 appearances last season for the Killer Whales. His contract includes a mutual option for the final season worth $6.1 million.

Garry Wright -- signed 3-year, $12.6 million deal with Chicago: Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Wright leaves Fargo for a three-year deal with the Chicago Cows to be their top setup man. The normally lights-out Wright posted an ugly 4.97 ERA in 105 innings of relief for Fargo last season and was even more abysmal in four postseason appearances, leaving him out of the Dirtbags future plans. The Cows hope he can turn it around and help turn them into contenders. The deal includes a mutual option for the final season.

Coco Hines -- signed 2-year, $7.2 million deal with Salt Lake City: The single-season record holder for saves, Hines flourished in a setup role last season for Philadelphia (formerly Madison), posting a 2.80 ERA in 103 innings pitched. The Shakers will hope the 36-year-old can duplicate that performance this season in a setup role for Salt Lake City closer Lonny Soto. Hines' deal includes a mutual option for next season.

Felipe Calles -- signed 1-year, $5.4 million deal with Scranton: A bit of an under the radar signing, the 36-year-old former Fireman of the Year turned starter went 7-8 last season with a 4.76 ERA in 187.1 innings pitched over 42 starts. Calles moves to the AL for the first time after spending his entire career in the NL with Salt Lake City.

Lloyd Freel -- signed 1-year, $3.4 million deal with Monterrey: One of the top relievers available on the market, Freel will wear a new uniform for the first time in his career after signing a one-yeard deal with Monterrey. In his final season with the Minnesota franchise last year, Freel posted a career-worst 5.03 ERA in 98.1 innings pitched. The Sultans will hope the 37-year-old two-time All-Star can rebound and that last season was just a fluke for Freel.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lincoln wins third straight Cy Young

Gonzales caps record-setting season with MVP

Charleston's Ronn Lincoln won his third consecutive American League Cy Young Award for his season 16 in which he posted a 16-5 record with a 2.55 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 33 starts. Lincoln joins Fargo's Javier Henriquez as the only pitchers in the history of The Bigs to win three straight Cy Young Awards. It's the fourth career Cy Young for Lincoln as he also won it in season 12.

In the National League it was Atlanta's Mike Lowery taking home the NL Cy Young Award after a season in which he posted a 19-3 record and 3.01 ERA for the World Champion Bandits.

There wasn't much doubt that after smashing the single-season records for home runs and RBI and leading the league in hits, slugging percentage, OPS and runs created that Fargo's Cesar Gonzales would be named NL MVP. King Cesar hit .332 with 71 home runs, 209 RBI and a 1.094 OPS.

Charleston swept the major awards as Chew left fielder Floyd Floyd took home the AL MVP Award. Floyd hit .299 with 45 home runs, 129 RBI and a 1.016 OPS while stealing 60 bases. The MVP is the second of Floyd's career.